Trouble in Discovery: Remington Rises Up was released today! You can order it over on Amazon right now. Normally, I would tell you to just go to the Shop page here on my site. However, the more people purchase it on Amazon early on, the more it climbs in rankings, and then that many more people will see it. So if you plan on purchasing it today or this weekend, please consider doing so on Amazon. Thanks!

Today’s chapter from the book is the last chapter that I will be posting for you. It is about Remington & Jenny, and their futures.

It is a good reminder to us all that the young people in our lives are dealing with so much more than whatever we are throwing at them. They are dealing with major life decisions about what to do and what path to head down, all while their bodies are changing and their hormones are raging.

Coaches & Parents: we need to remember this as we try to determine how much we give them to work on and things to do over and above their normal day-to-day chores and work.

We also need to remember the importance of checking in on them to see how they are doing with the myriad elements going on in their lives.

This chapter also deals a bit with the physical nature of teen relationships. While I don’t go into much detail in this regard, again, it is a good reminder that young people are navigating all kinds of things physically, mentally, and emotionally.

We need to keep an eye on them. We need to check in with them, offer an ear to them when they need it, as well as a consoling word. We might even offer some advice, but it is best to offer it as advice only if they ask for advice.

However, we can still have conversations that will help them deal with what they are going through. While it is good to be direct in our communication with people, sometimes we need to offer advice or life lessons through comments that are not so prescriptive, not so obviously us telling them what we think they should do.

This can be especially effective when we are dealing with teenagers. Our kids don’t want their parents, teachers, and coaches constantly “teaching” them and telling them what they should do. Sometimes, they just want to know that they are being listened to, that they have someone who loves and cares for them.

So while you are listening to them, figure out where you can offer something constructive to help them with whatever they are dealing with without always sounding like you are lecturing them or teaching them a lesson.

How would you do that with the two major life issues that Remington and Jenny are dealing with in this chapter?

How would you try to help them if they were your student-athletes?

How about if they were your own children?

Leave a comment below and let us know, as this is an area that I’m sure we could all use a little advice in!

Chapter 8

The rest of the summer went very well for Remington and Jenny. They spent even more time together than they would in a normal summer. The intensity of their relationship continued to grow. But staying true to what they had said they wanted to do, they took things quite slowly in the physical aspects of their relationship.

As difficult as it was at times, they both knew it was the right thing to do. Jenny was starting her senior year of soccer soon, and she didn’t want her focus to be in the wrong place. Remington understood that concept all too well, and he didn’t want to be a distraction to her. Jenny was a good soccer player, one of the top three players on the team. She had an opportunity to possibly receive some scholarship money to play at one of the small schools in the state. While her top choices for school were Stanford, University of Montana, and Montana State, places she was not good enough to play soccer, she hadn’t completely ruled out going to a smaller school and playing.

Remington did not want to hurt her chances of playing in college if that’s what she decided she wanted to do. He also knew that Jenny was a really good student, #1 in her class for the last three years. No matter where she ended up, she would want to have the best GPA, as well as the best ACT and SAT scores possible. The last thing Remington needed was the guilt of being the reason why any of those scores might not be where she wanted them.

Remington also knew that these were all the same kinds of things he was dealing with for his own future. A really good student himself, he knew that he needed to stay sharp and focused on his studies and his workouts if he was going to achieve the dreams and goals that he had. As much as he was really enjoying their time together and what they were exploring with each other, he also knew that if he allowed himself to get too hung up on her, it could drastically affect his season and his future.

“My future,” he thought. “What will my future be like?” This was a recurring thought for Remington on an almost daily basis. While he did his best to push a lot of it aside when he would get overwhelmed by it, it was hard to do. Everyday there was a new letter from a school interested in him going there. Most were form letters or brochures sent out to seniors all across the country, whether they were athletes or not. But after the team camp, as well as tournaments he played at with the Montana Select AAU team, he started receiving more letters or text messages from coaches in the western part of the country who saw him play. They were interested in getting him to their campus. By the end of July, he had eight schools that had separated themselves for him as his top choices: University of Montana, Montana State, Gonzaga, Oregon, Colorado, Arizona State, Stanford, and Duke.

Eight schools were still way too many schools to have in mind at this point in his decision-making. But he just couldn’t make up his mind. Each school provided an excitement for him. He had met a coach from each of those schools this summer, except for one—Duke. The coaches he had met were all very nice and very complimentary of his play. They all said that they liked how he played, but all but ASU said he would probably have to red-shirt for his freshman year to get his skills up. However, the ASU coaches, head coach Dave Meador and assistant coach Wylie Carson, both said they felt he might be able to play right away. Remington liked that. While he understood the concept and value of red-shirting, he had never sat out a season before. He struggled seeing himself doing that. He loved to play more than anything else, and he wondered if he would be able to handle sitting and watching and not playing for an entire season.

Remington and Wylie Carson hit it off quite well from the first time Coach Carson introduced himself. Remington felt a good vibe with him, and he looked forward to seeing Coach Carson each day at the two tournaments where he saw him. Even though he hadn’t visited the ASU campus since he was a little kid living in Phoenix, Coach Carson was such a positive influence that Remington was leaning that way a bit now.

However, there were a few problems with that. First, he had not been to the campus since he was little. When Remington lived in Phoenix, they had gone to a football game there. He remembered the football stadium sitting right next to a mountain with a big “A” on it, and he remembered how much fun it was being in that large of a crowd cheering on the team. They had driven around the campus another time, too, but he didn’t remember much of it. The thought had always been in the back of his mind that he might go to school there. But the further away from his days in Phoenix he got, the further away ASU was from his mind.

Second, ASU was not on Jenny’s list of schools that she was interested in. As their relationship had grown stronger all summer, this became a real concern for Remington. While they had both said they shouldn’t pick a school based on where the other one was going, that idea came from the rational thought part of them. Remington was so torn. He knew that he should not let Jenny affect his decision in any way, but he couldn’t stand the thought of not being with her. He wanted to be with her every chance he could. The thought of her being at one college and him being at another was too hard to take. It’s one of the reasons why U of M and MSU were still on his list and why Stanford was now also on it.

Finally, there was that one school on the list that Remington could not get out of his head—Duke. It was the dream, the ultimate school for him. His whole life he had dreamed of going there and playing for Coach K. While they were the one school where he had not personally met a coach, they were still on his list. Coach James, an assistant coach from Duke, had actually contacted him late in the summer, and he was at one of the western tournaments that Remington played at with his AAU team, although they never got to meet in-person. Coach James said he liked what he saw of Remington. He said he had also been in touch with Remington’s AAU coach, and his coach had been quite complimentary of Remington. In fact, Coach James said, “He said you’re the best player on the team, and it’s not even close.”

Remington was happy to hear his coach had said that about him. Coach James said he wanted to stay in touch with Remington. He said that they had two spots left for red-shirt freshmen to come in and work and hopefully develop to become key guys over the following years. He said he couldn’t offer him one of those yet, but that he would be telling Coach K about Remington and there was a possibility they would offer him that spot.

While this made Remington extremely happy and excited, it also added to his confusion. What should he do? When he and Jenny went out to dinner in mid-August, a week before their soccer seasons were about to begin, Remington still had so much that was unknown and so much left to decide. They talked about the summer. She talked about how her summer soccer season had gone so well and how excited she was to get started practicing in a week.

Remington said, “A week? That’s all we have? Gosh, I need more than that. I’m so tired. I don’t even want to think of soccer right now.”

Jenny had never heard Remington say anything like that. In Montana, the girls’ and boys’ soccer seasons were both in the fall. Every year for Remington’s first three years of high school soccer, he was excited to get the season started. Each spring he played with the local club team in a season that ended in June. For the last few weeks of spring soccer, he had to juggle the end of that season with the beginning of summer basketball. But this year, he knew he needed to put even more time into basketball if he was going to achieve his college dreams, so he missed two of the final three weekends of spring soccer.

Now that the school soccer season was here, he should have been chomping at the bit to get going. But all he could think was that it never felt like he had a summer. He was constantly working in some fashion, mainly on his basketball game. He just wanted to rest for a while and take some time off. He said, “I’m sure in the next week, I will start to get excited for soccer, getting back hanging with Sean, Conrad, Luke, and the rest of the boys. But right now, I just want to sleep.” He laid his head down on the table.

Jenny could see he was drained. She also figured the stress of his college decision was tearing him apart. She didn’t know exactly what to say or do. She reached across the table to hold his hand. He looked up at her. “Rem, I’m here for you. I don’t know what I can do to help, but I’ll try anything if it helps you feel better.”

Remington perked up. “Anything?! Really?”

Jenny knew where he was going. “Not that, Rem. You know what I mean. We’ve talked about that before. We both know that we need to be smart about that. The last thing we need is for me to get pregnant. Is that what you want? You think you’re tired now? Imagine having a baby to take care of while you’re trying to do school and basketball. The tired you’re dealing with now will go away in a week. But if you have a wife and kid to deal with, it’s forever.”

Remington was startled. “Wife?” he asked.

“Well, yeah, Rem!” Jenny was upset. “What do you think is going to happen if we have a kid? Do you think I’m just going to do everything myself and not have you there? Seriously?! Is that how you think it would go if we ended up having a kid?”

Remington was flustered, trying to find the right words to say. “No, no, no, Jen. That’s not it at all. Of course, I would be there for you. I wouldn’t leave you. Heck, I don’t ever want to leave you. That’s part of the problem with this college decision. I don’t want to leave you.” He paused to see if she was understanding that he was serious. He continued, “I was just shocked to hear the word ‘wife’ when you were talking about you and me. That’s the first time I’ve thought about us being married. I didn’t know you had ever thought that way.”

Jenny said, “Well, it’s not like I think about it a lot. I mean, my God, we’re 17-years-old. I don’t want to be married. But in the future, I will. And it might just be you who I will want to be married to. Of course, I’ve thought at times about what it would be like if we were married in the future. But, no, that’s not a thought I have very often.” She paused and then added, “But when we’re talking about if I get pregnant because we do something stupid, then yeah, you’re darn right I expect that we’ll be married.”

Remington said, “I get it. And you’re right. It would be stupid for us to throw all that we have in our future away for that. Still, it’s not easy.”

Jenny said, “I know. I’m struggling with it, too. But we have to be smart and strong. You’re the one with all the discipline to do all your workouts and make sure that you eat right and get enough sleep. You need to have that same kind of discipline for this, okay?”

Remington said, “Great. I’m Mr. Discipline for my teams, and now I get to be Mr. Discipline for us.” He smiled as he said it, and they both laughed.

Ideas to Consider:

  • While it would seem to an outsider that being a great basketball player and having colleges all want you to play for them would be a good thing, how is it a difficult thing for Remington right now? Which school is he leaning towards? Why? Which one is always in the back of his mind as his dream school? Why?

  • While both he and Jenny have desires to advance their relationship, they both know that it could completely alter their futures. Why is it so important that they stay disciplined and focused on their futures and not give in to their desires?